By Aaron Recuenco
A barangay councilor and three of his relatives became a casualty of intensified anti-illegal gambling operations of the Philippine National Police (PNP) after they were caught playing mahjong in Pinamalayan town of Oriental Mindoro.
Police have trained its focus on motorcycle riding-in-tandem and illegal gambling after they were kicked out anew in the anti-drugs war due to various controversies involving alleged human rights abuses in the conduct of anti-drugs operations.
Chief Insp. Imelda Tolentino, spokesperson of the MIMAROPA (Mindoro Oriental and Occidental, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan) regional police, said the operation stemmed from a tip-off about the illegal gambling activity in a nipa hut owned by 56-year old Danilo Sales, barangay councilor of Barangay Maningcal.
Also arrested during were Benjamin Sales, 51; Joey Sena, 28; and Joel Sena, 30.
In Bulacan, 21 people were also collared for involvement in jueteng during an operation conducted in San Ildefonso and San Miguel towns.
Chief Supt. Amador Corpus, director of the Central Luzon regional police, said most of those arrested were from San Miguel town, collecting bets for jueteng.
“We will continue to step up on our illegal gambling drives ,” said Corpus.
The PNP earlier traded barbs with the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) which accused the police of doing nothing to arrest big fish in illegal numbers game.
The PNP has been receiving multi-million assistance from the PCSO in exchange for running after illegal numbers games, especially those using PCSO games as fronts for jueteng.
The PNP leadership earlier vowed to relieve regional commanders who would fail to end jueteng operations in his 15-day deadline but nothing happened despite the warning.